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Push: Diggs English

Photography by Leo Sharp + Jon Spitzer.

Mr Diggs English!

Hello. You alright?

Harrison (Woolgar) has got the first question for you.

Oh no…

Harrison: Right. What have you ever done for me?

I saw this coming (laughs). Absolutely nothing, Harrison, absolutely nothing. And I’m proud of it (laughs). Nah, I’m joking.

Introduce yourself please.

Hi! I’m Diggs English, I’m 13, and I like skating quite a lot. That’s pretty much everything. I’m quite short as well.

How tall are you?


Harrison: And a half.

Probably 4’7” and a half. And I was born in 2009.

2009? I think Harrison’s XXXL Fubu top is probably older than you.

And it fits me perfectly (laughs).

Were you christened Diggs, or is that short for something?

It’s short for Diggory, but I’m not really diggin’ it, so… (laughs). I prefer Diggs.

And where do you live?

I live just outside of Brighton in a little village called Kingston, which is boring and has nowhere to skate, but it’s alright, because it’s near The Level.

At what age did you first cross paths with skateboarding?

I think I was five, five and a half. I saw this Spiderman mini board, and my mum sent my dad a photo of me standing on it in the store, and because my dad used to skate, he was like, “yes”, then for my birthday I got an actual board. I was just skating around the house for the first year. I was pushing around the kitchen, bashing into cupboards and the walls.

Harrison: Did you get the Spiderman board?

No. The Spiderman board was one of those tiny ones. I think it was…do you remember Rocket Skateboards?

Harrison: I’ve got no idea.

It was one of those, but that got nicked, then I got a Powell-Peralta board.

Brighton's most vibrant electricity box gets dealt a Saturday evening backside 180 nosegrind. Photo: Leo.

So Ben (English), your dad, used to skate?

He used to skate when he was 14 to maybe 17, then he had to quit because he was too busy. He tells me that he could ollie over bins, but I’m not sure if I believe him.

I believe him. Your dad is pretty handy on a skateboard.

Yeah, he’s loving skating just as much as me.

So has he picked up skating again because you started?

Oh yeah. When I was like, “skating is sick”, my dad was like, “cool, I’ll learn again with you”, so we’ve just been going skating together, progressing. It is very sick.

What was the first video part you worked on? Was it the Andy Evans one, The Village Skater?

Yeah, the first part I worked on was definitely the Andy one. That was well fun. Hopefully I’ll be making a lot more parts soon because Route One just bought us a camera, the absolute legends, and I really want to focus on getting out some good footage.

Harrison: I’ve just bought a VX too, so we’ll get on it.

Have you? Cool. My dad is going to try to learn to film as well. We tried the other day at The Level but he cut me out the whole time (laughs). I was like, “alright, this is going to take a couple of months” (laughs).

When did you first start skating at The Level? Would you have skated the wooden one?

I didn’t skate the wooden one, but I remember going to The Level occasionally when I was probably six. I was so intimidated, I’m not going to lie. I used to sit down, or just skate flatground. Because me and my dad were a little bit scared, we used to go down at like 7am until 9am, then leave, but now we don’t wake up at that time… it doesn’t work like that (laughs).

Harrison: And now you’re the one down there whatever time you like, doing the intimidating.

(Laughing) No I’m not.

Harrison: Nah, but you do rip it up.

I really don’t, but thanks (laughs).

Central Brighton backside 360 to the road, performed so swiftly that an improperly parked Leo didn't even get a ticket. Hooray. Photo: Leo.

Lovenskate was your first board sponsor, though you’re no longer with them. How did that hook up come about?

Oh, I love Lovenskate. They had a jam at Markfield Park in Tottenham, The Spot. We were at this Crystal Palace jam on the same day, and it started raining. My mum and dad were like, “we don’t think we’re going to be able to go (to Tottenham), it’ll probably get rained off”, and I was like, “no! We are going to this jam!” We turned really late and kind of missed the whole thing, but I was skating afterwards with Stu (Smith) everyone. I messaged Stu afterwards and said, “thanks for a rad skate”, and he messaged back saying, “no worries. If you ever get a chance to come to London, come by the workshop”, then a little while later he sent me my first board, and it went from there.

Did you ever take up his offer to visit the workshop?

I did. It’s really sick. I went to this printing day where we all got unbranded clothes. It was well good; I’m sad that I’ve grown out of the ones I made now. That’s the problem, I’m still growing…

Then last year you switched from Lovenskate to Flip.

Yeah, that was pretty mad, I wasn’t expecting it at all, but it’s so sick, what opportunities Flip have given me. Taking me out to L.A., filming with me, I got a photo in Thrasher because of them. They’re really showing me what can be done, or helping me progress, giving me the motivation to get better, I guess. I love hanging out with the Lovenskate team whenever I get the chance though, like Jordan (Thackeray), Lucy (Adams), Alex (Hallford) and everyone.

Because me and my dad were a little bit scared, we used to to go down The Level at 7am...

How was the trip to L.A. with Flip? I bet that was an eye-opener.

Yeah, we were just filming every day, and to be fair, by the end of it, I couldn’t really walk, I was so battered. I was using those…what are they called? The massage guns? I was going in public hot tubs every day, in there for hours with those guns, just so I could carry on skating (laughs). I was out there for five weeks, with the whole family. We also went out with the Tamblings as well, so Lola, Martyn, Leoh and Steph.

That’s good you were all out there together. Hopefully Lola is going to have a Push in the same issue of the mag as you.

I was speaking to her and I said, “I think I’m going to be in the Companion”, and she said, “me too”, and I was like, “what?!” I heard she got a back three over the box at Mount Hawke. She’s so good!

Who’s your all time favourite Flip rider?

I want to say… it’s got to be (Tom) Penny.

Have you met Tom yet?

I haven’t. I haven’t met Tom or Rune (Glifberg), but I’ve met pretty much everyone else. I’ve got so much respect for all of them. Cory Juneau, Art Cordova, Alec (Majerus), literally all of them. They’re so sick. I really enjoy skating with them all so much. They’re helping me progress and they’re lovely dudes.

At the minute, we’re in Portsmouth on a little New Balance trip. How did you come to be in the mix here?

Well…I don’t really know (laughs). I met Josh (Hallett), the filmer, at Shop Riot in Leeds really briefly, then Albie Edmonds - he’s a local skater from Lewes who has moved up to Leeds and has become really good friends with Josh - Josh was asking Albie what my hook up with shoes was, then I got a message from them, and it went from there. I think Albie gave Evan (Johnson) a shout for Josh as well, then Josh went straight to Mark (Baines) and said, “get Evan on the team”, which is well deserved, because Evan is stupidly good. We got on at the exact same time. I love skating with Evan, he makes me skate better.

Harrison: Did you have a shoe sponsor before that?

Yeah, I was getting flowed shoes from Lakai. They’re lovely guys, they were really, really nice to me, and I’m thankful for everything they did.

Harrison: And big up Albie for helping with the next step.

Yeah, big up Albie!

How much do you know about the Brighton skate scene of years gone by? Do you know your history?

I’m going to be honest, I probably don’t know that much at all!

Who’s your favourite OG Brighton local?

As if I wouldn’t say Harrison? He’s sitting opposite me (laughs).

Harrison: Say whoever you want! Pastey (Justin Ashby)?

Stevie Thompson, oh my God. He’s the best. It’s weird, I don’t think of Stevie as being from Brighton any more because he’s moved to Glastonbury, but I miss skating with him. He’s the nicest guy. I really miss Level sessions with Stevie. He’s the G.O.A.T.

Doubling up Stateside with Cory Juneau - backside tailslide underneath a lofty frontside air, Channel Street. Photo: Spitzer.

Harrison: You like the O.W.L. videos, don’t you? We were talking about those just the other day.

Mate, I’ve probably watched all of them about five times…more than that, some of them. They’re just so good. The skating, the spots, the way they’re edited, the way they’re filmed. Orwellian World Landscape are some very good videos. I remember a couple of years back they premiered Double Yellow Lines in that pub, The Rose Hill, and we just randomly went, and that’s how I got introduced to them. I watched that one loads, then they premiered Maritime at Lewes, at Beak Brewery… that was sick, even though I couldn’t see it, because I was so small. That was such a fun day.

Harrison: We’ve been skating Brighton street the last few days. Have you skated street around the city much before that?

Yes, but not those spots. Me and my mates go out and film, but we don’t film at the most known spots. I mean, I watch all of the videos but I don’t know where half of those spots are. We mainly go to the uni, or the fun little hill bomb spot by BYC, a few road gap spots, but mainly the uni. The banks at the uni are sick!

Harrison: You’ve been killing it the last few days. It’s nice to see some fresh legs and fresh ideas on the Brighton streets.

I’ve been wanting to do the backside 180 nosegrind on the electricity box ever since I first saw that spot. We went to pick up Finn (McCormick) from his house, because he lives on that road, and I looked at that spot and thought, “oh my God, imagine doing a back 180 nosegrind on that”.

Harrison: It is one of the best spots in Brighton.

Evan was saying he wants to do switch front blunt. Do you know how mad that is? I would not be surprised if that clip came out in the next month.

The other spots that we skated were all down to the art director himself, Harrison Woolgar.

DJ Yarris.

Harrison: DJ Yarris. Coming soon to your dad’s pub.

Coming soon to The Lansdown Arms.

What can you tell us about The Lansdown Arms?

My parents own The Lansdown Arms in Lewes. They’ve owned it for 25 years now… a long time. I don’t live there, luckily, because the pub is haunted.

Really? Haunted by who?

This little girl who lives on the stairs. It’s actually true, but I can’t get into the whole story, because it will fill up about four pages.

My parents own The Lansdown Arms... I don't live there, luckily, because the pub is haunted.

Come on, you can’t drop that bombshell and then not go into more detail.

Harrison: At least give us a page (laugh).

So…when my parents bought the pub 25 years ago, the lady that they bought it off, she said to them, “do know that there’s a little girl who died, died falling down the stairs”. Her parents used to work there, but now she lives on the stairs. The stairs there are really, really steep. Anyway, they were like, “yeah, whatever” (laughs). My parents moved in and my dad developed this really bad leg pain, like a cramp, and it didn’t go away for about a year; he went to all the doctors, to physiotherapy, and no one could figure out what it was. My grandma, my dad’s mum, for a joke she booked for him to see this spiritual healer in Hastings. As soon as my dad walks in to see her, the lady goes, “oh dear, you’ve brought a little girl with you, she’s clinging to your leg. You need to ask her politely to get off”. My dad went along with it, he was laughing about it, but he asked the girl, “can you please leave?”, and the pain went away! My parents told me that and I was like, “no! That’s total rubbish”, but I was at the pub with my mum and two new people had moved in, and they had a five year old girl. The mum says, “my daughter seems to be playing with this little girl who lives on the stairs”, and me and my mum looked at each other, like, “oh my days!” I obviously thought it was fake, thought it was my parents were trying to trick me, but I heard that and I thought, “this might be real”. So that’s the story, but there are other things as well, like my dad waking up in the night to the dog barking, and there was this lady in my mum’s clothes pointing at him.

Do you believe in ghosts?

I do believe in ghosts! Evan says this place is haunted too (Pitt Street Skatepark), and I reckon it is. It used to be a war hospital, and a ghost nicked Evan’s wallet here yesterday as well (laughs). Well, so he says.

Precise hippy jump action, with expert art direction provided by DJ Yarris. Photo: Leo.

So today is a Monday and you should probably be in school. How does that work? Are you allowed time off for skateboarding?

My mum’s kind of sorted it, saying that I’m working towards The Olympics, so I need time off for important training, or whatever. So they’re really flexible and they let me have time off, especially for something like today, because I can say I’m on a New Balance trip, so it’s not just a skate company, they know what New Balance is, so they’re like, “go, we don’t mind”. My school is really good for that, and I’m pretty thankful, otherwise it would be really hard.

When you’re there, do you enjoy school?

Yeah, I actually really enjoy school. Obviously there are some lessons that are boring, or you have bad teachers, but you get through those, then you have good lessons. It feels good when you’re actually learning.

So what plans have you got for this year?

I might go back to The States. I’ve got a Flip European tour, which is going to be insane, and Copenhagen Open, and then maybe Tampa Am, but I’m very nervous about that (laughs). Everyone is saying that it’s just good because you don’t have to place anywhere, it’s just nice to meet other people who are getting into the American skate scene. It’s just a good social activity I guess, but I’m still pretty nervous.

I’d imagine it would be nice to meet more people that are of your age as well.

In The States there are a lot more kids my age, and they are all so good… they are literally robots. It’s quite mad (laughs).

Any final questions, Yarris?

Harrison: What have you ever done for me? (Laughing) Nah, I think we can wrap it up, unless you have any more ghost stories?

Nah (laughs).

Harrison: Who would you like to shout out?

Shout out Sherbert. June 2023, keep your eyes peeled. And a big thank you to all of my sponsors, so Flip Skateboards, Route One, New Balance Numeric, Three Sixty Clothing, Jessup Griptape and Andale Bearings.

Follow Diggs - @diggs_english

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